The 2017 PDC World Cup of Darts got underway in Frankfurt on Thursday night, with top seeds Scotland suffering a shock defeat.
The Scottish team, consisting of world number two Gary Anderson and number three Peter Wright, were expected to go all the way to the final. However, both players struggled for consistency as the number one seeds were dumped out of the tournament by Singapore.
? Singapore 5-2 Scotland
? Tournament second-favs – Gary Anderson & Peter Wright – are OUT of the World Cup of Darts. pic.twitter.com/muVSgpgvBZ
— Sky Bet (@SkyBet) 1 June 2017
63-year-old Paul Lim, who hit the first ever nine-dart finish in the World Championship in 1990, rolled back the years as the star of the Singapore team. He, along with partner Haith Lim, took advantage of a below-par performance from Scotland and secured a 5-2 victory.
Number four seeds Wales were the last match of the night and came into it knowing they were now the highest ranked team in the top half of the draw. Former BDO world champion Mark Webster struggled to find his range but partner Gerwyn Price played superbly.
Opponents Finland put up a great fight, moving into a 2-0 lead and having darts at a double for the match, but Webster held his nerve in the deciding leg to hit the double for a 5-4 win. Thanks to power scoring from UK Open finalist Price, the Welsh team finished with the best three-dart average of the night which was 100.14.
Next up for Wales is a tough looking second round clash with Ireland, in what should be an exciting tie.
The Irish team of Mick McGowan and William O’Connor overcame a spirited Poland 5-3, ending with a three-dart average of 92.93.
Fifth seeds Australia, comprised of two-time world championship runner-up Simon Whitlock and his partner Kyle Anderson, looked out-of-sorts but eventually got past Denmark in a final leg decider.
Elsewhere, the Huybrechts brothers didn’t have to be at their best as eighth seeds Belgium eased past New Zealand 5-2. Russia beat Hong Kong 5-3, Spain beat Japan, and Greece got past Thailand despite finishing with a three-dart average of just 71.50.
— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) 1 June 2017
Second seeds and defending champions England, without Phil Taylor for the first time ever in this tournament will get the defence of their title underway against Gibraltar on night two. Third seeds Netherlands, who were beaten finalists last year, and fancied outsiders Northern Ireland will both also be hoping to make it through to round two.
Peter Reynolds, Pundit Arena
Read More About: Australia, Belgium, Darts, Darts World Cup, gary anderson, Gerwyn Price, greece, Haith Lim, Ireland, kim huybrechts, Kyle Anderson, mark webster, Mick McGowan, Paul Lim, PDC, peter wright, ronny huybrechts, russia, Scotland, simon whitlock, Singapore, spain, William O'Connor